Managing Talent in a COVID Second Wave

By Jennifer Lahey  |  

3.7 min read


iring the right people right now is more important than ever. In the post-pandemic world, individuals in HR positions will play an integral role in how companies will need to transform their organizations to build resilience and drive revenue. With the post-COVID world uncertain and changing each day, there is no shortage of new responsibilities, from fostering a connection to implementing plans to return to the office one day. 

The management trends found in the CHRO playbook are being accelerated by the ongoing crisis, but by acting effectively in five key areas, Hancock and Schaninger claim CHRO’s can craft a strong talent strategy for the post-pandemic world unknown to leaders everywhere: 

  1. Finding and hiring the right people 

Easier than it sounds, isn’t it? Efficient, cost-effective, strong hiring practices continue to be important for the post-pandemic world. Organizations around the world are finding success in the remote-interview method process, which is leading them to rethink the hiring system entirely. Hancock and Schaninger note that CHRO’s should take a fresh look at their systems and tools and find an easier way to connect the right people to the right jobs. The Predictive Index Behavioural Assessment delivered by Predictive Success is an efficient and easy-to-use tool that can help you do just that by providing you with people data that will help you to understand your candidates, saving you from mis-hires. 

  1. Learning and adopting a growth mindset

Large workforce transitions have been accelerated by the COVID-19 crisis, affecting key roles, and calling for an upskilling that CHRO’s must consider when closing talent gaps and restructuring teams. 

  1. Rewarding performance

Remote work has made it more difficult for leaders and managers to measure performance and for employees to receive the feedback needed to grow and excel in their roles. To maintain valuable performance feedback and reviews, Hancock and Schaninger note that CHRO’s should:

  • Link employee goals to business priorities in a transparent manner 
  • Maintain flexibility when leading
  • Invest in managerial coaching skills
  • Celebrate performance to maintain team morale 
  1.  Tailor the employee experience employee-to-employee

While working at home, the line between “work” and “home” often does not exist for many. This means that employee engagement and experience is more important than ever. Noting that CHRO’s must help establish the forms of working that foster engagement and inclusion, more importantly, Hancock and Schaninger also point to the variety of analytics tools available to companies they can use to understand their team’s level of engagement and promote a connection between all. The Predictive Index Employee Engagement Survey is a tool that can help you as an HR leader or CEO diagnose the engagement of your team and where you can grow.

  1.  Optimizing your workforce strategy

The McKinsey survey found that the HR spending category most likely to increase over the next 12 months is workforce planning, strategy, and change. There have been significant shifts in how value is created for the post-pandemic world. Hancock and Schaninger state that critical components of workforce planning and strategy include: 

  • Critical roles: HR leaders need to identify the core jobs within their organizations, what needs to be done, qualities needed of individuals who will drive success, and whether the role is currently set up for success or not.
  • Skill pools: Understanding the skills required for the future (major skill pools) needed and whether they are short on required talent.
  • Talent systems: Workforce-planning tools have become increasingly critical for CHRO’s to overcome and meet challenges ahead. Matching the right person to the right job is now more important than it has ever been. 

One of Predictive Success’ tools, the Predictive Index Behavioural Assessment will allow you to hire the right people for the right positions by providing you with data and insights about the person behind the resume. 

This article was written based on original content contributed to The McKinsey Organization Blog by Bryan Hancock and Bill Schaninger. Both experts in the world of talent management and organizational design, Hancock supports private, public, and social sector clients with workforce development, while Schaninger works with large-scale organizations to transform and strengthen business performance. 


Hancock, B., & Schaninger, B. (July 2020). HR says talent is crucial for performance – and the pandemic proves it. McKinsey & Company. Retrieved from 

Hancock, B., & Schaninger, B. (November 2020). Strategic talent management for the post-pandemic world. McKinsey & Company. Retrieved from 

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